Friday, March 14, 2014

The Beauty of Confession

Lent is a wonderful time to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (a.k.a. Confession), especially if you haven't been in a while.

Martin Sheen writes about returning to confession after a dozen years away in his new book, written with his son Emilio Estevez, Along the Way: A Journey of a Father and Son.

I left the confessional booth and sat down in a pew to reflect. I had just confessed the whole truth about the past dozen years of my life, and absolution was graciously granted without hesitation or judgment. Gradually, an overwhelming sense of freedom and familiarity consumed my whole being. I had returned whence I come.

I imagined the Prodigal Son might have felt the same way when, as the Gospel parable tells us, he returned from his wayward travels rehearsing lines of apology, only to be greeted by a father who loved him so unconditionally the son was welcomed with open arms, no questions asked, and no judgment passed.

I'd just taken the first step of a long, complex spiritual journey that would change my life. But I wasn't focused on the future now, only on this transcendent moment. Sitting alone in that church I began to weep uncontrollably with tears of sheer joy. 

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